Throughout Europe there is a view that social policy objectives can and should be achieved via the route of increased work participation. This is often fuelled by government assumptions that simultaneous progress on the employment and poverty front can be achieved. Employment activation and poverty reduction are central to the so-called active welfare state that lies at the heart of New Labour policies. In this article the relationship between devolution (another of New Labour's central policies) and active labour market policies is analysed. In particular a discussion of the decentralization of powers relating to employment is undertaken alongside an assessment of whether the ‘social policy’ focus of the devolved Scotland results in an effective integration of employment and poverty reduction policies.
- labour market
- social policy